Taiwan accused China on Friday of seeking to use the Honduran election to â€œcreate controversyâ€ and undermine Taiwanâ€™s long-standing ties with the country, saying it would strive to win support for Hondurasâ€™ relations with Taipei.
Hondurasâ€™ main left-wing opposition party, led by ousted former president Manuel Zelaya, said on Sunday if it wins Novemberâ€™s presidential election it will seek to â€œreadjustâ€ the countryâ€™s debt and establish diplomatic relations with China.
Honduras is one of just 15 countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which China claims as its territory with no right to call itself a state.
Taiwanâ€™s Foreign Ministry, which has already warned Honduras not to be drawn in by Chinaâ€™s â€œflashy and falseâ€ promises, said China has never stopped trying to undermine Taiwanâ€™s relations with its diplomatic allies.
â€œRecently, it has even used the democratic election in our ally to create controversial topics and the false image of unstable diplomatic relations between our country and Honduras,â€ it said, without giving details.
In the face of Chinaâ€™s â€œbrutal suppressionâ€ of Taiwanâ€™s diplomatic work, the government will â€œtake concrete actions to demonstrate our countryâ€™s assistance to the development of Hondurasâ€™ economic and social affairs, and strive for the support of Hondurasâ€™ ruling and opposition parties for Taiwan,â€ the ministry said.
Chinaâ€™s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Honduras has had relations for eight decades with the Republic of China, Taiwanâ€™s formal name. That pre-dates the Republican governmentâ€™s evacuation to Taiwan after loosing a civil war with the Chinese Communists in 1949, who set up the Peopleâ€™s Republic of China in Beijing.
Chinaâ€™s efforts to win over Taiwanâ€™s remaining allies have alarmed Washington, which has been especially concerned about Beijingâ€™s growing influence in Central America and the Caribbean.
El Salvador, in 2018, was the most recent country in the region to ditch Taipei in favour of Beijing.